JEFFERSON CITY — Carson-Newman University has announced it will offer a new associate of arts degree in liberal studies beginning fall of 2015.
The new degree option can offer the financial opportunity for students wishing to take advantage of the state’s new Tennessee Promise initiative.
Tennessee Promise, an initiative of the state government, will provide two years tuition-free education at a community college or technical school in Tennessee.
The program begins in the fall of this year and, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel, 90 percent of the state’s high school seniors have applied for the scholarship.
Students who qualify for Tennessee Promise who opt to attend private colleges with higher tuition are responsible for paying the difference, according to the News-Sentinel.
The A.A. option is expected to catch the attention of upcoming high school graduates by allowing students to transfer seamlessly into Carson-Newman’s baccalaureate program.
“This makes a great school more affordable for families who might have felt they couldn’t afford Carson-Newman in the past,” said Paul Percy, dean of academic affairs.
“As it concerns Tennessee Promise, much of the focus has been on the state’s community colleges,” said Percy. “We want students to know that when they are accepted at Carson-Newman, and qualify for Tennessee Promise, the amount they could receive is equal to the cost of tuition at a Tennessee community college.”
Percy explained that students interested in Carson-Newman who don’t qualify for the Hope Scholarship or Pell Grants should take a serious look at the new Tennessee Promise option.
Carson-Newman’s admissions office believes Tennessee Promise is positively impacting its recruitment process.
The new offering is giving an opportunity to market directly to Tennessee Promise applicants who may not have expressed interest in Carson-Newman previously.
“Beyond the potential Tennessee Promise financial benefits, the new A.A. degree will serve as a life benchmark for students,” said Percy. “Having an associate’s degree is an accomplishment. The truth is not everyone who begins a four-year program finishes in four years,” said the dean.
“The reality is that sometimes life happens.
Percy says Carson-Newman was very intentional in its decision to offer an associates of arts degree in liberal studies. “We’ve designed it so students have the flexibility to major in whatever they want to major in and get an associate’s degree.”
He also added that the university is exploring the possibility of adding additional specializations for the A.A. degree.
Carson-Newman’s new associate’s degree supports Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s “Drive to 55” mission, of which the Tennessee Promise is a cornerstone initiative. The goal is to increase the percentage of working adults with some kind of postsecondary degree or credential from 32 to 55 percent in the year 2025.
For more information about C-N’s upcoming associate of arts degree or questions concerning Tennessee Promise, contact Carson-Newman’s admissions office at 865-471-3223.